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Cell Cycle. 2008 Sep 1;7(17):2691-704.

Aurora kinase-A regulates kinetochore/chromatin associated microtubule assembly in human cells.

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Department of Molecular Pathology, Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77504, USA.


Microtubule nucleation and formation from the kinetochore/chromatin have been proposed to contribute to bipolar spindle assembly facilitating equal segregation of chromosomes in mitosis. Although two independent pathways involving the small Ran GTPase-TPX2 proteins and the chromosomal passenger complex proteins have been implicated in the formation of microtubules from the kinetochore/chromatin, detailed molecular mechanisms integrating the pathways and regulating the process have not been well elucidated. This study demonstrates that Aurora kinase-A plays a central role in the kinetochore/chromatin associated microtubule assembly in human cells by integrating the two pathways regulating the process. Silencing by siRNA and over expression of a kinase inactive mutant revealed involvement of Aurora-A at two critical steps. These include accumulation of g-tubulin in the vicinity of kinetochore/chromatin to create microtubule nucleation sites as well as INCENP and TPX2 mediated activation of Aurora-A facilitating formation and stabilization of microtubules. The findings provide the first evidence of Aurora-A, in association with INCENP and TPX2, being a key regulator of kinetochore/chromatin associated microtubule formation in human cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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